Don’t you hate it when you think movies are Disney Channel Original Movies, only to be disappointed when you find out that they’re not?
Though people mistake other movies for DCOMs often, it happens with certain movies all the time. (Trust us, we’ve witnessed it!) Though they’re all super entertaining, they’re unfortunately not among the ranks of the DCOM elite. But that doesn’t make them any less awesome!
They may not be Disney Channel Original Movies, but these ten films deserve a little love every now and again, especially since ABC, ABC Family, and even the Disney Channel all neglect to air them for some reason. Not only that, but they’re not even on Disney+ yet. What a travesty!
So let’s all take a timeout from our DCOM craze and recognize these gems of Disney made-for-TV filmmaking, shall we?
‘Suzie Q’ (1996)
Suzie Q is one of the movies that’s most often mistaken as a Disney Channel Original Movie. If it had been made a year or so later, it probably would’ve been a DCOM! It’s notable for being slightly darker than a lot of Disney movies, what with it dealing with a fatal (and slightly brutal) teenage car crash and trailer home eviction. Be that as it may, it’s still completely charming and a lot of fun. Why must Disney keep it off the air?!
‘Wish Upon a Star’ (1996)
If you didn’t want to be (or be with) Katherine Heigl’s character in Wish Upon a Star, I don’t know who you are. She was my fashion icon for a long time after I saw this movie for the first time. It’s a fun twist on the body-swapping story and not nearly as cheesy as Freaky Friday. The girls’ relationship is so heart-warming and fun to watch. Disney Channel needs to do a sort of “Harry Potter Weekend”-like marathon for this movie.
‘The Paper Brigade’ (1996)
If you’ve never seen The Paper Brigade, you’re seriously missing out. It’s the classic tale of boy meets girl, boy wants to take girl to a concert, boy becomes a paper boy, and boy fights bullies with friends and an old codger. While this movie may not be a DCOM, it certainly feels like one. It’s a shame that it hasn’t been aired in years. (I would know. I’ve searched TV listings for it frequently.)
Hey Disney+, throw a girl a bone?
‘My Date with the President’s Daughter’ (1998)
Bet you can’t read this movie title without getting the theme song stuck in your head. My Date with the President’s Daughter is such a fun movie that it’s a shame it doesn’t get shown more often. Will Friedle is a national treasure and that pink dress is a fashion icon in and of itself. Here’s hoping that the Disney Channel plays this gem again sometime soon or that it’ll get added to Disney+’s already stacked line-up. We could all use a little more Will Friedle in our lives after all.
‘H-E Double Hockey Sticks’ (1999)
Did I mention that Will Friedle is a national treasure? Pair him up with Matthew Lawrence and Rhea Perlman playing Satan and you’ve got quite an entertaining movie. H-E Double Hockeysticks is hilarious, no matter if you’re a kid or adult. The way it deals with demons and Hell is so accessible and hilarious that, as a kid, I had no idea that it was a taboo subject. God, I miss this movie.
‘Seventeen Again’ (2000)
Before Zac Efron starred in a movie of the same name (but which used the numeral instead of the word “seventeen”), the three Mowry siblings took on their own sort of de-aging/romantic recoupling storyline. It’s really fun to see the three acting together and “pretending” to be related. Given that it stars all three Mowrys and it came out in 2000, it really makes no sense that it wasn’t created as a Disney Channel Original Movie.
Did this movie get that one song stuck in anyone else’s head? You know, “But It’s Alright”? It took me a really long time to figure out that this movie wasn’t a DCOM, especially since it was on TV almost all the time when it first came out. Thanks to this movie, losing teeth became fun!
‘Tower of Terror’ (1997)
Love the ride at Disney World or Disneyland? This movie is definitely a worthy adaptation! Steve Guttenberg and Kirsten Dunst are a father/daughter duo who become entangled in a decades-long mystery and haunting at the Hollywood Tower Hotel. This movie is the perfect mix of suspenseful, funny, and a bit scary. Plus, a lot of it was filmed at the actual attraction in Disney’s Hollywood Studios in Florida!
‘Model Behavior’ (2000)
Remember that time when Justin Timberlake played a handsome and sweet model? Honestly, this movie is worth watching just because of him. But it’s also just a fun movie all around. The whole life-swap thing has been done before, but it was cool to see it done with the life of a supermodel. With the premise being as gimmicky as it is, it’s really surprising that Model Behavior isn’t a DCOM! Fingers crossed it gets added to Disney+ sometime soon!
Who wouldn’t want their Barbie doll to come to life and become Tyra Banks? Life-Size is such a fun movie (and not just because the song is super catchy). It takes every young girl’s dreams and makes it reality. It’s too bad that this isn’t actually a DCOM because then it’d be on TV more often. But hey, on the bright side, this movie may not be considered to be among the ranks of Disney Channel Original Movies, the sequel will be!